After signing 268 bills into law and vetoing nine, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has cleared his desk of all legislation from the General Assembly’s 2015 session.
It’s the end of the road for the vetoed bills unless lawmakers choose to invoke their constitutional right to override legislation struck down by the governor. A veto session will be held July 20, according to Av Harris, spokesman for the Secretary of the State’s office. If legislative leaders do not choose to veto any bills, a small number of lawmakers will meet anyway to “gavel in and out” as a formality.
Most of the bills for which Malloy issued a veto were related to education. Controversial vetoes include a bill that would establish minimum professional requirements for the education commissioner and one that would have increased the number of members on the University of Connecticut’s Board of Trustees.
Larry Perosino, spokesman for Democrats in the House, said calls are being made to gauge lawmakers’ support for any veto overrides and their availability for Monday’s session.
Senate Democrats spokesman Adam Joseph said there’s “a strong chance” the party will meet “at some point” prior to the veto session to discuss the override possibility.
There were no vetoes in the final batch of legislation released Monday. All 11 measures met Malloy’s approval, including those governing an overdue magnet school study and the regionalization of municipal police dispatch in the southeastern corner of the state.
The governor’s signature ensures that a comprehensive plan for interdistrict magnet schools, originally slated for completion in 2011, will be submitted by Oct. 1, 2016.
The Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents said in public testimony that the publicly funded schools, which have proliferated in the Hartford region and elsewhere following the Sheff v. O’Neill desegregation case, were developed without the kind of oversight that would have led to more consistent funding levels across the state and a clearer focus on how the schools can contribute to Connecticut’s overarching student achievement goals.
Malloy also approved a special act of the legislature affecting several cities and towns in New London County. The act authorizes a governing board to oversee the development of a regional emergency communications center to deliver dispatch services in East Lyme, Waterford, and New London.
Tammy Daugherty, director of the New London Office of Development and Planning, testified before the Public Safety and Security Committee that the concept is modeled after existing regional agencies such as health districts and recycling authorities. She said the model differs from existing regional providers — Colchester Emergency Communications (KX), Litchfield County Dispatch, Quinebaug Valley Emergency Communications, and Valley Shore Emergency Communications — in that it allows municipalities more control over operations and preserves access to federal and state grant opportunities.
The bill’s opponents, such as the Trumbull Police Union, compared the idea to failed consolidation efforts within the Connecticut State Police. Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner Dora Schriro in May reversed the decision to regionalize dispatch functions in the Eastern and Northwestern parts of the state. The reversal was a response to complaints from citizens, police, dispatchers, and lawmakers about higher response times and staffing concerns.